A New Startup ecosystem enabler is rising in North-Eastern part of India !!
India Startup ecosystem is the 3rd largest ecosystem in the world after US and China. According to the data from DPIIT ( Department for Promotion of Industry and internal trade) there are 51671 recognized startups till date from all across the country with majority of the startups getting recognized from Maharashtra, Karnataka and New Delhi region.
But North Eastern region has been lacking behind in the total approval for Startups applying for DPIIT recognition primarily due to the lack of startup culture and startup ecosystem in the region which has prevented young minds in the region to venture into entrepreneurship and become job provider instead of job seekers.
Setting up a startup ecosystem is a time consuming and exhaustive process which requires the support from various stakeholders in the form of Investor Community, Innovative startup ideas and motivated entrepreneurs, support system in the form of mentors, trainers, consultants and other Startup ecosystem enablers.
Business Incubation centers play a key role in bringing all the stakeholders together on a single platform with the aim of nurturing Startups and providing a support mechanism during the early phase of the startup when they are most vulnerable.
Although in the recent past Central governments and respective state governments have tried to encourage entrepreneurship culture in the region by setting up incubation centers in each state and launching of scheme like Assam Startup Scheme, Manipur Startup Scheme, Meghalaya Startup to name a few. Because of the lack of experience and lack of expert mentors in the region the incubators have not been able to fulfill their expectation but things are changing and incubation centers like AIC- Sikkim Manipal University Technology Business (AIC-SMUTBI) is leading the charge and doing it the right way. The keyword is the “right way” because many other incubation centers have failed to look at the big picture and not been able to attract the right mentors, talents and investors to take note and invest their time and effort to support the startups in the region.
Currently AIC-SMUTBI is incubating 45+ Startups and supporting 60+ Startups from all across the country and so far nearly 177+ jobs have been directly created. The Incubation center has successfully conducted various training and acceleration programs like “Lets’ Accelerate” program in partnership with Lets venture, “Wadhwani Foundation Venture Fast Tract(VFT) program” funded by Bill and Milinda Gates Foundation, “SAPNE 1.0 program for NE Startups” a program fully funded by AIM Niti Aayog and recently the Incubation Center has launched “Startup School” @AIC-SMUTBI for the next Cohort of Startups enrolling in the Center.
As someone who got an opportunity to participate in Wadhwani Foundation VFT Program and SAPNE 1.0 for NE Startups, i can proudly say that the quality of mentor and trainers curated by the Center is on par with the best in the country. The incubation center has also been able to curate an array of high quality Mentors and motivational speakers for the program from across the country with the sole purpose of encouraging startups from the region and has been able to attract the who’s who of the startup world.
Special motivational talks were organized with personalities like Sonam Wangchuk , a well know environmentalist and innovator in the country. Who encouraged the students to solve their local challenges and problems . The Well know “PadMan” talked about his journey of overcoming a social stigma and objections and how he overcame those difficulties with his female hygene solution. Co-Founder of lenscart talked about his entrepreneurship journey and appreciated the effort laid out by AIC SMUTBI to encourage the startups in the region.
High impact session on “Design Thinking” , networking with various corporate partner sessions were specially helpful in providing us the tools and mental preparedness for building a scalable startup. Various session on legal and corporate compliances were very helpful in understanding the various legal pitfalls and issues that startups will have to keep in mind.
In conclusion, We feel very lucky to be part of the AIC-SMUTBI Incubatee community and we feel we have found the right mentors and incubation center team who genuinely are passionate about helping change the landscape of Startup Ecosystem in North Eastern region of India and day will not be far when we can have unicorns and prominent startups from the region as well !!
Aeroshil Nameirakpam, Co-Founder, Nibiaa Devices Pvt.Ltd.